NEW YORK (October 25, 2005) — On Thursday, October 20, 2005, a New York jury ruled in favor of McDermott Will & Emery client Jordache Limited and the United States Polo Association (USPA) in a five-year trademark infringement lawsuit brought by Polo Ralph Lauren. After less than three hours of deliberation, the jury returned a unanimous verdict that three of four disputed trademarks of mounted polo players did not infringe Ralph Lauren's trademark.
The McDermott team advising Jordache was led by trial partners Michael S. Sommer and Ann Schofield with assistance from associate Leila Pittaway. The USPA was represented by Gerald Ferguson and George Stamboulidis of Baker & Hostetler LLP.
At trial, the court ruled in favor of the USPA and Jordache as a matter of law regarding Ralph Lauren’s dilution claim, and the trademark infringement claims went to the jury. As a result of the verdict, the USPA and Jordache now have the right to use all three marks on clothing, leather goods and jewelry, and are also relieved of paying any monetary damages to Ralph Lauren.
In March 2000, Ralph Lauren sued the USPA and Jordache, after Jordache had gone to market with apparel lines featuring various marks of the USPA, including one of the versions of the mounted polo players. Ralph Lauren claimed that virtually every trademark and logo used by Jordache infringed one of its trademarks, including the USPA's abbreviation of its name and its use of American flag images. In September 2003, the court entered a stipulation of dismissal with respect to all issues other than the dispute of the four mounted polo player marks.
McDermott Will & Emery litigators have represented clients with some of the world's most famous trademarks in infringement suits relating to false advertising, unfair competition, trade dress, trademark and trade name. We have successfully obtained numerous temporary restraining orders, preliminary and permanent injunctions and damages against infringers and importers of illegal counterfeit goods.